Brands are facing an extreme challenge as the online arena becomes more crowded than ever before: how to stand out from the crowd. In this article, we will walk you through why keeping up with the online shift needs to be a top priority, the ever-changing consumer behaviour and how it’s affecting brands, as well as our best advice on how brands can approach this shift and succeed with standing out from the crowd.
Why brands need to stand out from the crowd
The digital transformation is taking place here and now, and the pandemic in 2020 meant a five-year acceleration for eCommerce. The result? The digital marketplace is more crowded than ever. Store-oriented retail giants, whose strategy has long been to have physical stores on the most crowded shopping streets, now have to rethink and shift focus to the online arena.
The place to be for fashion brands are where consumers are strolling, where they do their ‘window-shopping’ and seek inspiration. The difference today is that consumers prefer to listen to like-minded people rather than brands, and the most attractive locations for brands are no longer on Oxford Street, 5th Avenue or Champs-Elysee. Instead, they are on social media platforms and even in closed private chat groups.
One of the biggest challenges for companies today is to keep up with the changing landscape and to adapt their communication to these new audiences’ needs and wants. Do you know how to be relevant to your audience today, and in the future? Hear our CEO and Co-Founder, Sam Foroozesh on the topic:
With more and more brands entering the digital arena, it’s becoming much more difficult to get your audience’s attention and competition online is tougher today than it has ever been.
As a result of this behavioral shift, and with tremendous amounts of data at hand, many companies have put focus on short-term sales activations that lead to quick wins. In a more and more competitive market, however, this strategy only makes it harder to grow and increase profit in the long run.
The brands that will succeed are those who have the ability to put their focus on brand-building activities, the brands that have a solid strategy in place for meeting their audience on their terms.
Important to note here is that it’s no longer enough to provide a smooth online experience. Factors such as fast shipping and safe payments are no longer unique selling points that make consumers choose your brand. These are only hygiene factors. What makes your brand really stand out and earn the love of your audience is how well you’re building a relationship with them.
Standing out from the crowd and becoming a permanent fixture in your target audience’s social feeds and lives is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Here are three critical things to have in mind:
1. Win your audience’s minds through people they trust
The demand for peer-to-peer communication has gone beyond enthusiasm and is now an expectation. And the reason for that is simple: consumers trust their peers (and they include influencers in that group) more than they trust your marketing team.
But nowadays, even in a peer-to-peer channel such as influencer marketing, it takes time to build trust towards this audience. Winning consumers’ trust with a one-off campaign was possible only a couple of years ago, but we’re here to tell you that those days are long gone.
Research supports that your target audience wants to shop based on recommendations from people they trust, and 82% of millennials and Gen Z trust influencers. Think about it. Faced with an audience that spends around three hours a day on social media and trusts peer-to-peer communication, how can you reach them effectively? Preferably through people that they trust, w